Someone had to win it and the Orangefield Bobcats didn’t. In the end the East Chambers Buccaneers took the season opener 35-28 in Winnie. But don’t let the scoreboard fool you.

The contest slipped away in the end. The Bobcats slugged it out with the Bucs as the two squads exchanged leads until the final :32 of the contest.

“I felt early in the ball game that it would come down to the end and it did,” said Bobcat head football coach Brian Huckabay.

Despite the loss the Bobcats lit up the scoreboard in an offensive performance that would have defeated many opponents. The Bobcat debut on the road, and that of first year head football Coach Brian Huckabay, was just one that got away.

“It was one of those games where one or two plays made the difference in the game,” Huckabay said, “I was proud of our team’s effort and attitude and disappointed for them that we came up short.”

“The Pride”  travels to Buna Friday to take on the Cougars in a traditional rivalry that dates back many years. “It should be a great match-up,” Huckabay said. 

Buna defeated Trinity 44-0 in their season opener this past Friday.
“When we look at Buna it is almost like looking in the mirror. They run a similar offense as we do,” Huckabay said, “I’ve known their coaching staff many years and have a lot of respect for them. It will be another good contest for us this week.”

A problem for the Bobcats against EC became Buccaneer junior quarterback Hank Jones. He ripped for four touchdowns in the season opener, two in the first half- one by land and one by air. But he wouldn’t score again until late in the decisive fourth quarter.

Bobcat senior quarterback Corey Huckabay directed the Orangefield attack either rambling through defenders and making good use of running backs Chase Parker, Evan Guidry and Derrick Evans.

Huckabay passed for 87 yards on seven attempts and rushed for 61 yards on 15 carries. He connected with Bobcat receivers Kyle Fontenot for 18 yards and Josh Shores for 42.

In all the Bobcat offense rolled up 254 yards rushing against EC. Evans rushed for 99 yards on just five carries that included two touchdowns. Parker accounted for 35 yards on seven totes and one TD.

The senior quarterback rambled through defenders to set up Orangefield’s first score. Evan’s nailed the PAT and the ‘Cats were tied 7-7 to end the first quarter.

Huckabay, however, would strike again cruising 43 yards to the goal line with 22 second left in the first half. Evan’s missed the PAT and the Bobcats went into intermission down 14-13.

The Bobcats returned to action striking twice with back-to-back touchdowns to open the third quarter. Orangefield took the kickoff and drove to the two-yard-line where Chase Parker punched it in.

On their next possession EC fumbled and Parker came up with the ball for Orangefield. Derek Evans would break loose and dashed 38 yards to the goal line. Guidry added a two point conversion and Orangefield had a 28-14 lead with 8:12 on the clock in the third quarter.

The Bucs drove to the Bobcat two yard line late in the third quarter and Jones ran it in. The PAT cut the Bobcat lead to 28-21.

A Bobcat victory was almost in hand but a fourth quarter 13 yard scamper by Jones tied the score 28-28. Then with just :32 left on the clock Jones scored from the two-yard-line winning the game 35-28.

“The key thing is that the game was a good opportunity for us to evaluate our performance. The kids are eager to correct our mistakes and get better before heading to Buna.”

Defensively, Luke Gunstream lead the tackling for the Bobcats with 13. Gage Hayes wasn’t far behind with 12 and Josh Shores accounted for 10 tackles against the Bucs.